Biz Buzz for July 8, 2013

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS Melissa Dallum was named director of human resources at Western Lake Superior Sanitary District in Duluth. Dallum most recently was WLSSD's benefits administrator and has a strong background in human resources, having served ...

Melissa Dallum


  • Melissa Dallum was named director of human resources at Western Lake Superior Sanitary District in Duluth. Dallum most recently was WLSSD's benefits administrator and has a strong background in human resources, having served with the Northland Human Resource Association and currently serving on its board of directors. She also is on the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College's Maintenance

    Advisory Board. Dallum earned a bachelor's degree in human resources from the Concordia College in St. Paul.

  • Michael Loidolt was hired as an insurance agent at Grand Rapids State Agency. He previously was at Grand Rapids State Bank and has more than three years of experience assisting customers with banking needs in the teller department. Loidolt graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 2003 and from North Dakota State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He earned his insurance producers license in February.

  • Lake Superior College hired Pat Lawler as interim director of the Center for Advanced Aviation. He will oversee all center operations, including flight training, curriculum and finances. Lawler previously worked with the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth as an avionics maintenance technician for more than 10 years. He paired that with part-time volunteer service as a squadron commander with the Civil Air Patrol from 2010-13.

    After completion of flight training in LSC's professional pilot program, Lawler was hired as a part-time adjunct flight instructor in March. He earned a bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics and a master's degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also holds airplane and helicopter dual-rated commercial pilot's licenses as well as airplane and helicopter flight instructor certificates.

  • Karen Pionk was hired as an account manager at HTK Marketing Communications in Duluth. Pionk has experience as general manager at the Sheraton Duluth Hotel, manager of global accounts at HelmsBriscoe and director of marketing for the Waterloo Black Hawks.

    She serves as vice chairwoman at-large of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, is a past board member of Visit Duluth and the Great Lakes Aquarium, and has been active as a member of Skyline Rotary, the Leadership Duluth Steering Committee, the Tourism Task Force and Bayfront Park Task Force.

  • St. Luke's announced Eric Lohn was named vice president and chief financial officer on June 24. Lohn has extensive background in financial management and leadership, most recently as regional chief financial officer for CentraCare Health System in St. Cloud, Minn., since 1999. RETIREMENT

  • Louise Kainz has retired from the St. Louis County Veterans Service Office in Ely after 42 years of service. She was hired to work with Matt Stukel in 1971 and worked with six veterans service officers from the 1980s to the present. During her time in the VSO, Kainz served veterans from World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gulf War and the Persian Gulf War, as well as peace-time veterans.


  • The Duluth Transit Authority held its Bus Roadeo driving skills competition June 23 at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center. The event is a qualifying event for the Minnesota State Roadeo. Bus operators are given the opportunity to test their skills on a course of obstacles off the main streets and routes they're used to driving on. The top two drivers from the Duluth event qualified to participate in the 2013 Minnesota State Bus Roadeo scheduled for July 19-20 in Rochester.

    Nine drivers competed in this year's qualifying event. Paul Mattson received first place, Rick Roser took second place, and Ruth Hoadley earned third place. Mattson and Roser will compete in the State Roadeo.

  • Coldwell Banker East West Superior named Ginger Eckman the top listing agent for May and June. Eckman also was top selling agent for June. Claude Wenaas was named the top listing agent for May.
  • Jodi Olson was recognized as the top sales agent for June by Century 21 Gilderman & Associates Inc. CERTIFICATIONS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Robin Whaley, owner of Stay at Home Pet Care LLC, was certified as a pet tech instructor in Boynton Beach, Fla. She now is qualified to teach pet first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Whaley will be scheduling classes for pet owners and pet professionals in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her number is (218) 834-3310 and her

    e-mail is .


  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Jan Sivertson of Grand Marais to the Minnesota State Arts Board, effective Sunday. Sivertson replaced Pam Perri Weaver, and her term expires Jan. 6, 2014. GRAND OPENING/ RIBBON-CUTTING

  • Como Oil and Propane will hold a grand opening and ribbon- cutting event at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in celebration of the opening of its propane fueling facility at 3002 W. Superior St., in Duluth. The AutoGas dispenser, the first in the area, will be available all day, every day to anyone. For more information go to .


  • Lucky Klover Farms in Duluth announced it is a new member of the American Angus Association, headquartered in St. Joseph, Mo. The American Angus Association has nearly 25,000 active adult and junior members and is the largest beef breed association in the world. Its computerized records include detailed information on more than 17 million registered Angus.

    Biz Buzz is a collection of business news tidbits from around the region. Send your business openings or closings, personnel changes or other news of interest in the business community to Biz Buzz, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802, e-mail , or fax (218) 720-4120.

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